Planning is underway for future transportation projects citywide. As part of that process, City officials want to hear from community members about the proposed annual six-year transportation plan, the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The Bellingham City Council will hold a public hearing on the 2024-2029 TIP at its next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, May 22.
Information on how to participate in the public hearing, either in-person or remotely, is available in the City Council meeting agenda.
The six-year TIP is an annually updated, rolling plan that outlines the city’s priorities for maintaining the existing transportation network and planning for future improvements within existing financial constraints. The 2024-2029 TIP includes projects ranging from road resurfacing to bridge reconstruction on Eldridge and Electric avenues, safety improvements along north James Street, crossing improvements in Fairhaven, and a two-phase project to improve traffic flow at Squalicum and Birchwood at Meridian Street.
Public input helps ensure the City is meeting its most pressing needs – for all road users – according to Bellingham Public Works Director Eric Johnston. He said the City considers growth, traffic flows, connectivity and community interests, such as those represented in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans.
“Your voice and comments on the TIP help the City build for the future,” Johnston said.
“The TIP is a critically important tool used to prioritize funding for transportation projects that serve those using gas-powered and electric cars, bikes, buses and trucks,” said Johnston. “Public input is vital since state and federal agencies look to the TIP as a measure of community support when they consider the City’s funding requests.
The TIP demonstrates the City has prioritized and invested in capital transportation improvements, which makes them more competitive for state and federal grants and more likely to be developed. Many current and upcoming projects, such as the Meridian-Girard Multimodal Safety Improvements and the Parkview Elementary School Safe Route to School Improvements, are examples of how the TIP is used to secure state and federal funding.
Bellingham residents are encouraged to weigh in on projects planned for their neighborhood, or areas they may frequent, as presented in the 2024-2029 TIP. The City Council is scheduled to consider the proposed 2024-2029 TIP at its first meeting in June. By law (RCW.35.77.010), cities are required to submit a six-year TIP to the state each year before July 1.